February 1, 2019

12:24 pm

Rooting For The Rams

The world will not stop rotating on Sunday -- but if it did, Americans might not notice. That's because Super Bowl LIII (that's 53 for non-Roman readers) will take center stage in Atlanta.

The annual football contest will this year pit the perennial contenders the New England Patriots against the upstart Los Angeles Rams. We here at Moving Giants don't pretend to know all that much about football (other than the fact that, as wildlife advocates, we get prickly when we hear the word "pigskin"). But, given our love of creatures, great and small, if there's a contest between a Patriot and a Ram, we're going to back the horned one every time.

So imagine our delight when we saw this piece in Smithsonian Magazine, which offers 10 Fun Facts About Rams — the animal, that is.

* Number 2 notes that actual "Rams are about the same size as football players." A male bighorn sheep, the piece notes, weighs somewhere in the vicinity of 260-280 pounds.

* Number 4 observes that bighorn sheep are the ideal organism to study for concussion research. Football fans are likely aware of the jeopardy to which many players are subject due to the violent nature of their sport. "Scientists have hypothesized many explanations for bighorn sheep’s ability to habitually ram their heads together without experiencing the concussions that humans can get from much less intense physical activity."

* And Number 10 will be familiar to regular readers of Moving Giants: American park rangers uses helicopters to relocate rams. Moving Giants wrote about this topic back in September, and animal-translocation projects are obviously close to our hearts!

This weekend, if you're feeling ambivalent about the game, at least you now have a team — or a species — to root for!